Cal/Gal Warzone Imbalance

For reference: Map: Caldari VS Gallente - DOTLAN :: EveMaps

With the overhaul of FW, the warzone system has changed. You now have frontline systems which focuses the content within a select number of areas rather than spreading everyone out thin. This has been a very good change for the warzone. One key factor is that if a FW system borders an NPC Empire system, that system remains front line. So for example if Tama and all surrounding systems fall to Galmil forces, it will still be a permanent front line system (PFL) where Caldari forces will always be able to dock. These Empire entry systems provide great strategic value to both sides as it allows people to flank one another creating interesting and dynamic strategic situations.

However both sides do not have the same advantages in this regard. The Caldari have 8 or 9 PFLs, (Sarenemi, Raihbaka, Kinakka, Hasama, Ishomilken, Ikoskio, Tama, Hysera, and MAYBE Athounen. I say maybe because the theory is if that system falls to Galmil, the gate between it and Caldari Highsec shuts down.)

Gallente have 13 PFLs (Alparena, Aubenall, Frarie, Loes, Ouelletta, Murethand, Hevrice, Jovainnon, Vifrevaert, Ladistier, Heydieles, Fliet, Tannolen.) Not to mention the entire annexation of the Intaki constellation which had been Calmil held basically blew a hole in the Calmil side, but whatever, lore reasons. The real issue is when looking at the CalGal warzone map in game is the “fingers” that intersect around Heyd. Almost all those systems have a bordering Gal empire system which makes pushing the warzone basically impossible. Since so many of those systems remain front line even if Calmil pushes them, Gals can still dock and “hit behind their lines” in the process. Meanwhile Calmil do not have an equivalent. This gives one side a distinct advantage built into the cake.

I think this should be taken into consideration by the devs. Either we should rework the connections of the empire-warzone systems to balance this out or remove the “perma front line” status of bordering systems altogether. Although even if the latter option was done it doesn’t completely solve the issues with the “Heyd fingers.” Solutions can be considered by the devs and how they see fit the future of the warzone, but I did want to bring this issue to their attention.

There are advantages and disadvantages throughout the entire warzone. This new frontline system brings terrain more into focus. Is it unfair that the Swiss live in the mountains and are thus harder to invade? Sure! But so are the British, the Japanese, etc on their Islands. Terrain importance was the whole point! Yes, the Gallente Militia have situated themselves in Heyd and Fliet. They are natural choke points and even when they were the only frontline systems we focused on defending, the Caldari failed to take them. The “problem” described above never came to be, instead the Caldari lost steam and the Gallentean counter-offensives begun. So don’t even try to attribute the Caldari’s failure to take the systems to them being perma frontlines.

The Caldari have a natural fortress in Nennamaila/Hikkoken, either system will be supported by 3-4 command centers and was something that the Gallente could not break past during our Winter Campaign. Also, who knows how the Interstellar Shipcaster will shape the way we fight each other once they are complete.


Nenna and Hikko are not Caldari advantage systems. Any side can capture them. It’s an advantage to whoever can get them. Systems like PFL systems are inherently advantageous to that respective side. We aren’t the Swiss or the English or the Japanese. This is a game. If the board is tilted in favor of one side or another simply by the sake geography, that’s broken. It doesn’t matter if Caldari “lost steam taking Heyd” in the past. It’s not about what happened or not. It’s about the actual balance of the game.

The Gallente would have to farm in rearguard to take advantage of Nenna and Hikko. It’s an advantage in the direction of Caldari holding those systems. Gallente holding them from Caldari attack would not face the same difficulties.

You can take Nen and Hikko and all the surrounding systems. What are you talking about?

Yes, but the Gallente can’t build a natural advantage like the Caldari can…unless the Caldari do some really stupid things. From the Gallente direction, Nenna has 40% Caldari/10% Gallente Advantage without them needing to do anything, but to take Nenna back, Caldari will have that same 40%/10% natural advantage. Permanent Frontlines only have 10% advantage btw (20% for Hysera and Aubenall).

From the Caldari perspective, if Gallente controlled the board, they would have systems they always need to keep control of as well. Tama being a pretty big one. The Caldari aren’t being disadvantaged by the system, they are the ones who hold the most territory after all. Heyd being a thorn in your side is just part of the lay of the land.

You’re not getting it. You don’t balance the chess board based on where the pieces currently are. Those will move back and forth. You need to balance the board so that it is by default balanced. When one side has a bunch more PFLs and set up in such a way where you cannot push further by design of the board itself, that’s broken. “But Calmil hold x systems” is irrelevant. They’re doing that despite having the board disadvantage.

It’s not a chess board though. It’s space with set stargates connections. Wargames are almost never using perfect symmetry. You are ignoring your own advantages in the terrain, you are ignoring the possibilities that the Interstellar Shipcaster will bring.

The shipcaster was earned due to Calmil’s ability at acquiring the resources needed for it. In all likelihood all sides will eventually get them. Again just because we’re winning on points despite the built in advantage Galmil has, doesn’t mean that advantage doesn’t exist.

The game is asymmetric and unfair. That’s part of what makes the game quirky and fun, and lets rivals boast about achievements along different dimensions. „We win by numbers“ „But we held despite the disadvantages“ etc.

The game isn’t some sterile mirrored arena match with perfectly balanced stats. It’s simply a lived universe, warts and all.

No, you have it backwards: if in the middle of your fantasy world you have this weird unrealistic geography trying to shoehorn in and cater to game mechanics, it feels less like a natural world of an MMO and more like a COD arena. It doesn’t belong in Eve‘s Eden geography.

Just because other MMOs do this ugliness doesn’t mean Eve needs to follow in their footsteps.

Also in Eve what you’re asking for is impossible. With cynos there will always be an asymmetry about cyno ranges for warzone dread drops so you’re asking for a bigger map rewrite than you think you are, or are ignorant of the larger power plays that happen in war zones.

„Default balance“ is a made up idea you have. Let it go. The warzone is never in a state of „default“ and trying to make arguments on some theoretical grounds is not going to convince people.

The system works nicely today: if you have too many rear systems, the enemy can get materials for amplifying actions (towers, beacons, etc) to come back even if the numbers aren’t there. If you have more systems, you can „be winning“ in a forever war without having to feel bad about it. If you have less systems, you can relish the fact there’s no punishing Tiering anymore to make people leave.

Even if someone has too many PFLs it really only matters if you’re trying to blob the whole warzone one color. Which isn’t really the goal is it, it’s to farm the sweet LP (at least it was when I last was in CalMil). Painting the whole warzone one color is a Pyrrhic victory.

Due to one very enthusiastic pro-State capsuleer. Credit where credit is due. (Hi Rem).


as others wrote, eve is not an arena for symetrical pvp. The differences promote conflicts, provide challenges, pride, bitterness etc

If i stick to OP’s request, i suppose OP would also want numbers to be the same on each side? like some sort of forced regulation when you wanna enlist and join one side rather than the other one? Whereas it is not the case.
Oh and please can we replay WWBII but forcing PAPI to have equal numbers as the Imperium?
and Moon distribution to be the same in every null sec region?


Oh, awesome. While we’re at it I guess you’d be in favor of addressing the fact that calmil has a huge numbers advantage and easy access to Jita?

And before anyone starts talking about hauling alts and Red Frog, that’s not really the issue. The issue is that every ■■■■■■■ person thinking about joining galmil (especially new/single acct) goes “bUt WhAt AbOuT jItA?” And it results in the 2:1 or greater numbers advantage for Caldari (last time I looked).

Are you in favor of that “symmetry on the chessboard?” Or are you only concerned about changes that favor your side?

Seriously, “a couple more enemy systems will be PFLs” vs. “we have twice or more the militia members and more direct access to the game’s premier trade hub, making it much easier to recruit new players and single acct players”

Which is actually more impactful here?

Especially considering Caldari haven’t even flipped the PFLs you’re talking about.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though. Squid do live in a highly saline environment, after all.

Note: in case anyone is unclear, I don’t think either of these should happen. Gallente simply made their own market hub instead of whining endlessly about Jita.


There are player made asymmetries. I’m asking that we resolve a game play one. Numbers/recruitment etc these are made by the players. It can fluctuate. Nobody in the game can make Heyd or Fliet not be PFLs. Either limiting both sides to 1-3 or removing them completely is best.

What is unrealistic about there being no PFLs or only 3?

It’s not “made up.” Again if you are playing chess and one side starts out with black having 5 Rooks instead of two, you can’t argue “Well that’s just the game, white is still doing pretty good as is.”

Irrelevant to my point.

Then there’s no problem to limit PFLs to an equal number for both sides.

No because FW and null are different animals altogether. All that is being asked is to have even number of PFLs. What are you so afraid of?

There isn’t a “huge number advantage.” And again it’s not a hard concept. There’s a difference between player made differences, and game developer made differences that give one side an advantage.

Dodixie has enough Tristans for new players to fly. 95 percent of FW logistics is done through neutral alts anyway.

Ralli how is having both sides have an equal amount of PFLs only favoring my side?

Once again player made advantages vs CCP made ones. Also lulz about “bEiNg oUtNuMbErEd”

Right sorry we’re busy holding down most of the warzone while you guys flail about. But if we did have those PFLs captured your excuse would be “Why does it matter clearly you can take them anyway” or if we were holding as few systems as you were you’d say “Why does it matter you can’t even reach them.” There will be an excuse for you no matter what.

Clearly we’re the upset ones. :thinking:

Cool then don’t whine about it when someone recommends both sides should have an equal amount of PFLs.

There are so many game play asymmetries you fail to create a good argument why this one needs to be resolved. Myself and others have talked about „irrelevant“ game play asymmetries because you fail to do so on this point. We have no idea why this one is bad so we list all of them. And simply saying „irrelevant“ does not make them irrelevant. A good argument is you stating what criteria makes some more important than others and why yours stands out. We’ve brought up:

  • asymmetry in geographic capital power projection
  • asymmetry in participation numbers
  • asymmetry in ship balance
  • asymmetry in resource distribution

These are game play asymmetries. You give no good definition of what a „player made asymmetry“ is and no reason why this magical category is „ok“ and thus no argument.

You might think you’re making arguments and good points but you’re really not conveying them well, so we’re not on the same page, and you’re risking coming across as hard headed and out of touch. These aren’t insults, I mean this as frank feedback so you can help everyone else understand what’s locked away in your head.

Yes it is 100% made up.

Eve Online is not chess. It is not balanced based on chess. It does not adhere to the principles used to balance chess gameplay. It does not use the Elo system that professional chess does. It is not a 1 vs 1 game like chess is. You’ve made no good argument for why Eve Online should look to chess for balance principles.

Your made up ideas are blinding you. You’re unintentionally coming across as delusional by repeating yourself without actually laying out arguments. An analogy is not an argument.

Simply saying „it needs to be like chess“ over and over doesn’t convey nor convince why:

  1. your asymmetry is more important than the other asymmetries in the game
  2. this asymmetry should be addressed and others shouldn’t
  3. your particular proposed solution is the correct one

Have you considered the possibility that the developers have evaluated the player group disparities and adjusted the field conditions accordingly?

I thought some of this might be obvious. A player made asymmetry is one side having more people because of better recruitment, or better results due to better strategies. Game made asymmetries are built into the game. Like the PFLs. If you look at the south of the CalGal warzone map you see those systems starting in Heyd. About a dozen or so of them, most of them are connected to Federation empire space. So basically even if Calmil pushes through there and takes systems, the Galmil side never loses access to most of them because they remain open for docking as they are PFLs. It’s really not that hard of a concept to grasp. Distinguishing between player made advantages like recruitment, strategies, etc, and innate game advantages like an imbalance in PFL’s is really rather simple. This isn’t an insult, I mean this as frank feedback to help you grasp the concepts explained here and you can hopefully start to contribute some decent points here.

Calling people delusional because you don’t have an actual point and are relying on your inability to grasp the difference between player made asymmetry and built in game asymmetries isn’t an argument either.

So Galmil’s been losing so badly that CCP gave them built-in advantages in terms of PFLs because they felt bad for them? Possibly.

Ok. I’m on the same page. In case I hadn’t made it obvious, PFLs are just one asymmetry built into the game. Like:

So much more asymmetry impacts the day to day warzone in FW. At risk of sounding like a broken record: why do the difference in number of PFLs matter? Why do those other asymmetries not matter? You haven’t addressed it.

Exactly! The hard concept to grasp is why you’re bothered by this so much. I understand what it is. You elaborating on what keeps avoiding the why. Why is it important and how does it lead to imbalance. In practice your hypothetical scenario has never happened. And if it does happen, allowing the other side to come back via PFLs — whether 3, 5, 10, 15, or 100 PFLs — doesn’t sound like imbalance. You get the same benefit – your 8 PFLs let you never lose access to them. Why does 8 vs 13 of these places matter?

Why. Does. It. Matter.

Who. Cares. If. They. Can. Stage. A. Comeback.

They can already cyno in allied neuts and flip any system behind your lines. No PFLs needed! So imbalanced!

Here’s concrete questions for you to chew on: What about having 8 vs 13 PFLs makes it imbalanced to “come back”? Why does 5 PFL difference matter?

Thank you for not bringing up chess. But you’ve substituted it for nothing and snark.

I already have been. Your continued snark is insulating yourself from all criticism and undermining your credibility. Who the heck cares about PFLs and what is the problem with being able to come back in a forever war that’s not supposed to end and never supposed to have 100% totalitarian victory?

It seems obvious to me but perhaps not to everybody that the factions in faction warfare will be added to and fracture further.
It can’t be a question of fairness, it’s a choice of loyalties and sympathies. How pragmatically a player chooses is essentially irreverent.

Praise Seraph, your ‘victory’ is assured. I’m warmed by thy glorious gloat.

So wait I can’t want one particular problem solved until others are solve? I don’t think that makes sense. As for why PFLs matter, I did explain this in the opening post. To quote myself:

“The real issue is when looking at the CalGal warzone map in game is the “fingers” that intersect around Heyd. Almost all those systems have a bordering Gal empire system which makes pushing the warzone basically impossible. Since so many of those systems remain front line even if Calmil pushes them, Gals can still dock and “hit behind their lines” in the process. Meanwhile Calmil do not have an equivalent. This gives one side a distinct advantage built into the cake.”

Then if it doesn’t matter we can just specify 3 PFLs for each side and be done with it.

“You can cyno in allied neuts and flip any system behind enemy lines” is your argument? It sounds like you haven’t done much FW.

Aside from the raw numbers it’s the structure of it all as detailed in the opening post that I’ve already quoted above. If none of it matters either way why do you care so much if we just have an even number of it?

Whatever you give me I will double and return it.

Who said anything about end? Oh my am I a totalitarian now? How spooky.

Yes, I know. I am saying this is not convincing. I am asking for a meatier argument. GalMil can push any of CalMils PFLs and make the same complaint.

Fundamentally, I find your argument that the mechanics of PFLs „preventing pushes“ is nonsense. It allows for comebacks in the WZ big picture and prevents easy holds. Hence no 100% complete control. Which is fine because owning systems no longer rewards really like the old Tier system.

Plus, if there were no „docking in PFL mechanic“, people would stage in high sec and could jump one extra gate to get beyond a PFL. If that is a big deal it’s worth the engineering investment to change. I don’t think it is though.

So map change isn’t convincing, neither is docking changes.

You didn’t answer my question that I asked above: why does the difference of 3, 4, or 5 matter?

Is the fact that you can say the above paragraph N+5 times while GalMil says it N times really the core of your argument? That is not imbalanced. You haven’t convinced anyone else here with your argument. Eve Online has ever never been about „fairness in numbers“ except the filament arena.

Clever rhetoric, but that’s not how logic works. If it doesn’t matter then Chestersons Fence applies, and status quo is maintained. Again, the burden of proof is on you.

This kind of personal attack is uncalled for. But you’re right, maybe the time last year I was in CalMil and CalMil called in Snuffed to drop caps and flip an iHub was just a fever dream :thinking: Maybe it was your alliance UCSC who was dropping capitals in Black Rise all this time. Or maybe I made up this „snuffed“ group. Who knows, apparently I’ve never done FW. Im reminded of a quote:

Thought that would help here.

Excellent question!

  • I enjoy the asymmetry of it
  • I enjoy the geography of new Eden largely as is. It’s a beautiful randomly generated cluster with a seed of 42.
  • corollary to the previous: I absolutely hate it when devs modify geography to be artificial and look like „balance“. I don’t want the Chinese donut map either.
  • PFLs or whatever can be one pro out of many pros and cons for picking sides.
  • I don’t want war to be balanced. I enjoy asymmetric games. It feels more accomplished when I do achieve things and I don’t want that taken away.

Hope that helps provide a different perspective.

No if you would quit trying to „read into“ what I am saying and assuming it is full of barbs and insults and jabs and just read it as written. If I wanted to call you names I would just do it. Here I am saying 100% warzone is a totalitarian victory in the literal sense: total control.

That’s as far as I can tell the only reason to care about the „comeback“ capability of PFLs and:

  • 100% warzone control doesn’t matter (goodbye tiering system) and
  • it provides a fun avenue for the folks on the other side.

If there’s a higher level reason to hate PFLs that isn’t 100% warzone control I’m all ears.